‘Ravens will bring out best in us’
Billiat confident Downs have all the resources, skills to defeat five-time African champs TP Mazembe
KHAMA BILLIAT has played on some of the biggest stages in the last four months, from the CAF Champions League final to the Fifa Club World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations. Those high-profiled matches bring out the best in the Zimbabwean forward, which is why he is looking forward to Saturday’s clash with TP Mazembe in the CAF Super Cup.
As the CAF Champions League winners, Mamelodi Sundowns will host the CAF Confederation Cup champions at Loftus Versfeld. This titanic clash against the five-time African champions will prepare the Brazilians well ahead of their new Champions League campaign, which starts next month.
“It is a big match,” Billiat said. “We are used to it now. These games are important because they give you an idea of how big you are. It’s a cup we would like to win to show where we stand in African football. The guys are looking forward to it. We just have to do what we do best. We wish we could play games like this every weekend, live in that space where you just play big games because it takes your game to another level.”
The DRC giants, Mazembe, helped the Brazilians take their game to the next level. Mazembe eliminated Sundowns in the first round of the 2015 Champions League, winning the title that year. That match was a big lesson for Sundowns, who scored just one goal at home to win 1-0 before losing 3-1 in Lubumbashi. Mazembe taught the Brazilians that you have to make the most of your home advantage. Sundowns took that lesson to last year’s campaign.
“Our concentration levels have to be high for 90 minutes,” Billiat said. “They have achieved a lot but that doesn’t mean that much on the day. We are hungry to get the result. The three games we have played in the league have prepared us for Mazembe. We had different aspects of our game tested in those three games which puts us in a good position to take (them) on.”
Borrusia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is denied a goal from the spot by Benfica’s Ederson in their Uefa Champions League round of 16, first Leg clash at the Estadio da Luz in Portugal on Tuesday night. Benfica won the tie 1-0.